Firm says allegations of illegal cigarette production false


The company whose premises was raided by police in January on suspicion of illegal production of cigarettes says after a court ruling that it was innocent.
Goldensborough Ltd, in a statement, said allegations that the company was illegally producing cigarettes in Port Moresby were “baseless and false”.
According to court documents obtained by The National, the Waigani District Court had granted a request by police to withdraw its case against a named company on which the search warrant was obtained and executed by police.
Waigani District Court issued the order to withdraw the case on Feb 21.
It said the warrant that police had obtained to search a premises at Kennedy Estate in Port Moresby was not its company.
“The search warrant was not issued in the name of our company,” it said. “The listing in the district court was not that in the name of our company.”
The company said it had done nothing wrong, yet, it had been penalised by actions taken by the Department of Immigration against its directors and employees.
PNG Customs Service Chief Commissioner Ray Paul said in January that the company had a licence to operate. He said the company was operating in Kennedy Estate at 7-Mile and had been importing and distributing tobacco products, including paying legislated taxes, for the past eight years.
“We are aware a manufacturing licence was issued to the same firm to commence production of cigarettes this year, also after meeting all requirements, including establishing machinery on the site,” he said.
On Jan 25, officers of the National Drug and Vice Squad, National Narcotics Bureau and PNG Customs visited the company to check on the legality of its operation.